Do you feel that in the air? It’s the change in seasons, heralded by green leaves lining branches, birds chirping in the morning, and rays of sunlight streaking through the clouds. When the seasons change, so do our lifestyles. We spend more time outside, we change our wardrobes, putting the boots back in storage and breaking out our sandal collections. Those lucky enough to have their own outdoor space, plant gardens and polish their decks. There are so many changes to make when the seasons change, some people forget about their apartments. But even in the warm weather, we spend a lot of time indoors, and so the change in seasons is a great opportunity to play with some new décor ideas. And there is no reason for your décor to hurt the environment. There are plenty of eco-friendly options for perking up your apartment. Here are five inexpensive green DIY ideas for your apartment.
DIY IDEA #1 – Paint your walls green. When we say “green” we mean eco-friendly, but sometimes we are also referring to the color. And when it comes to painting your walls, it refers to both. Make sure you choose eco-friendly paint when you are choosing a new color for your wall. These paints are free of chemicals and other dangerous toxins that taint your air and even pollute your local water supply. The color green is a great option for updating your room for the summer, too. It’s very popular in a number of hues: emerald, forest green, and lime are all great options.
DIY IDEA #2 – Reuse your old drapes. If the summer sun shows that your drapes are looking a little drab, why not take them down and, like Scarlett O’Hara, turn them into something else. You can reuse the old ones for some new chair covers or make new pillows for your couch. This is a great project when parts of the drapes are bleached out by the sun, but other parts are in perfectly good condition. Depending on their condition, you can also use your drapes to make a tablecloth for your summer picnics. (You will probably want to replace your drapes so you can block out sunlight and keep your energy bills lower.)
DIY IDEA #3 – Fix up or donate your old furniture instead of sending it to the landfill. If you are in the market for bigger changes, and considering getting new furniture, take a look at what you already have and ask yourself if it can be salvaged. Maybe that wobbly table just needs a little bit of TLC, and maybe your old dresser just needs a new coat of paint. Summer if the perfect time for these little fix-ups because you can do them outside and avoid messes in your apartment. If something is beyond your DIY skills, or if you just don’t like it anymore and want to get rid of it, then consider donating it instead of throwing it away. Or do a $1 stoop sale to guarantee everything finds a new home.
DIY IDEA #4 – Stay away from bottled water and buy (and decorate) reusable bottles instead. A lot of people like to stockpile bottled water in their apartments so that they can always grab a bottle and run when they need to. But this is a bad idea for a few reasons. For one, it takes up a lot of space, whether you keep your water bottles in the fridge or in the cabinet or under your bed. Secondly, those bottles of water are terrible for the environment. Get a reusable water bottle instead and use that whenever you would want to grab one of those plastic disposable bottles. Buy two so you can always have a cold one ready. Feel free to decorate the water bottles to make them more personalized.
DIY IDEA #5 – Report your small maintenance problems to your super or landlord. A lot of normal wear and tear is regularly going unreported by tenants. People just do not want to bother calling up their landlords or the supers to get them fix the problems. But something like a leaky faucet or a running toilet can waste a lot of water, running up your bills and hurting the environment. And the best part of this kind of DIY project? You don’t have to do the hard work, and you do not even have to pay for it – this kind of work is included in your rent.
Our guest blogger, Mark Russell, is a writer specializing in apartment living and money saving apartment tips. Mark writes for Apartment Guys’ apartments for rent.